Who am I?
I work as an IT consultant and Software Developer.
I have been helping business and government for over 25 years now.
I can provide impartial advice regarding your options when developing database driven applications for the Internet.
I'm a passionate advocate of Open Source Software. I can show you how to save thousands in licencing fees by moving away from proprietary solutions.
I am a highly experienced professional, with strong ethics, I am able to deliver excellent results, rapidly.
How do I operate?
I only work with a small number of carefully selected clients and only handle a small number of projects concurrently.
This allows me to provide extremely rapid response times and to offer responsive development and support services.
Where do I work?
I work remotely with clients all over the world and I am happy to travel as required.
I am located in Australia or Switzerland for most of the year.
What can I do?
I offer bespoke software development, these days most of my work is in PHP creating complex Intranet/Internet websites to rapidly enable business to offer products and services.
I also develop in C++ & Mono when required for cross platform desktop applications or embedded systems.
Put simply, I create the kind websites and applications that you use every day on your phone or computer.
I also act in the role of IT consultant, I have a wealth of experience covering a range of subjects including Security, Hardware & Software selection, Networking & the Internet.
I create server side and cloud based applications that help you run your business. I can show you how to set your staff up to work remotely and write the software that will allow transactions to take place from anywhere.
I have written cloud based accounting and inventory management programs. Industrial machinery control and management systems. Employee and asset tracking software.
I can also create a single website that can be accessed by customers and staff from anywhere in the world to provide secure services.
I create and manage internet servers and part of the service is ensuring they are 100% secure and there is ongoing maintenance.
I am also a back end developer, however I am not limited to any particular framework.
I am a front end developer and can create responsive websites that can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet.
I offer a free 30 minute consultation via Google Hangouts to discuss the possibility of us working together.
My style as a consultant is to ensure I fully understand your requirements and then to research the best available technologies before making any recommendations.
Many consultants just recommend Brand X because that is all they know, whereas I have no allegiance to any particular brand or technology , I recommend solely based on fitness for intended purpose.
How I can help your business.
- Firstly I will only work with you in a win/win situation. I'm never trying to take advantage of anyone and I will not allow myself to be taken advantage of.
- I have a wealth of experience in many different fields. I have over 20 years of experience in the IT and Software development fields.
- However my experience has shown me that the only consistent thing is change. There is no single solution to any problem. Every problem needs to be carefully analysed and taking into account the proven technologies and the latest cutting edge technologies a recommendation has to be made for the best way forwards.
- Every time I consult for a business I do the research and present my findings together with the evidence for my recommendation to follow a certain path.
How I operate
The first step is to communicate with you. Via email or phone. You can explain to me what you require and I will ensure that I understand your needs.
- I will then go away and look at your requirements and the available technologies that could meet them.
- I will then be back in touch and I will let you know how I think you should proceed, and what the reasons for my recommendation are.
- Possibly at this point I or we will have decided that we are not a match and I will wish you success and say goodbye.
- If we continue then we will agree on a time frame and budget for your project as it is presently defined.
- Once we both accept the scope of the project and the budget and time frame I will start development work.
- The first update will come within a week, regular updates are made daily/weekly until the project is completed.
- As the project develops you have the ability to fine tune it's appearance and operation. Anything that stays within the original scope is included in the original budget. If feature creep becomes an issue I will let you know immediately and give you an updated budget.
- If you are an established client I am happy to bill you in arrears.
- If you are a new client we establish our mutual trust as I bill 50% at the start and 50% on completion.
- For a long running project (>6months) billing will be on a monthly basis.
How much does custom software cost?
There are plenty of people out there offering websites. Most of them just know how to run a script that installs WordPress.
WordPress is free and you can get decent hosting for less than $100 a year.
There are thousands of free WordPress templates.
After that it takes an hour to change some images and words and bingo you have your typical simple small business web page.
So the actual cost of building and hosting one of these simple sites (for a year) is often less than $150!
But of course people who sell these sites charge a lot, usually starting from $1500
I don't recommend WordPress. It was designed for people who don't understand software or websites.
WordPress was designed to enable anyone without any understanding of the technology to create a website.
If you know nothing about websites and you want to create one, you can use WordPress yourself.
That is why it is so popular. It's not necessarily good thing. Systems that are created by people who don't understand what they are doing are insecure.
The reason that so many businesses and websites get hacked is that they were setup by people with no experience or understanding of the issues.
I create bespoke software and websites. I write them by hand from scratch. I don't use frameworks that I don't understand.
I create highly secure, highly stable, scale-able solutions that grow with your business.
I only charge you for my time, not for the value I can sell to you, I'm a consultant with your best interest at heart.
I'm not a salesperson. I won't promise anything I can't deliver. I complete projects on time and on budget.
I choose my clients as carefully as you should choose your business partners. I value reason and logic and trust.
I work from my home office and I work to live, not the other way around. When required I can work though the night to deliver an urgent project in another time zone.
But I am very careful to limit the amount of work I take on so that I can always deliver on schedule.
I'm the guy behind LampDatabase. Let me give you a brief summary of my life.
I love flying. I've been flying all kinds of aircraft since I was a teenager.
I started in the RAF Cadets at school.
By 16 I was flying Hang Gliders.
In my early 20's I started flying GA aircraft.
In my early 30's I was flying Hang Gliders with an engine.
In my mid 30's I was flying Ultralights and Microlights.
In my late 30's I was a multi engine rated commercial pilot.
After flying in a straight line got boring I became an aerobatic pilot.
In my 40's I became a paraglider pilot.
I now have many thousands of flight hours. What I learned over the years was that I fly for fun. If it's not a challenge and an adventure and fun, then it's not the sort of flying I am interested in. I just fly for fun and adventure these days, I will still do ferry flights though as they are always an adventure!.
- I am always learning new things.
- I was educated in the UK, but Australia has been my home for the last 20 years.
- I travel regularly for work and fun, I am often in Europe.
- I have been helping business as an IT consultant for over 20 years.
- I love learning new skills and as a result:
- I have specialised in systems integration.
- I ran a dedicated Apple Macintosh support business.
- I started a business providing a networked off-site backup solution.
- I developed a Linux based mesh networking system in the 1990's.
- I started a company that replaced old analogue communications equipment with digital equipment in the 1990's.
- I started the first wireless broadband ISP in Western Australia.
- I learned PHP around 2000 so that I could rapidly develop server based solutions for my clients.
- I learned C# and C++ around 2005 so that I could create stand alone desktop applications and software for embedded systems.
- I started an RFID timing company based around a self created software and hardware solution.
- I became a commercial pilot and ran my own business for years.
- I embraced HTML5 as a way of rapidly deploying flexible standards based solutions that will work on any platform.
- I realised how important my freedom is and so now I just take on projects that are interesting and enable me to live the life I aspire to.
Examples of some organisations I have worked with include: BankWest, Goldcorp, WA State Government, The Australian Ultra Runners Association, The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia, The North Eastern Victoria Hang Gliding Club. And numerous small businesses around the world.
I am happy to work remotely with English speaking business located anywhere in the world.
My Services and Charges
Due to inflationary pressures I am increasing my corporate prices from Dec 1 2022. This is the first increase in several years. This does not affect customers with quoted projects that are in progress.
IT Consulting, charged by the hour. $180/Hr
Provided, by email, by phone or in person.
Includes any general IT advice for business covering:
Computer Hardware selection and purchasing recommendations. Computer Software fitness for purpose. Computer peripheral selection. Network design. Intranet recommendations. Internet solutions. Backup technologies & solutions.
On-Site Consulting or Development services. Charged by the day. $850/day
Software development with any of the technologies that I use.
Corporate rate for less than 10 hours $250/Hr
Corporate rate for > 10 hours $175/Hr
Small Business rate for less than 10 hours $150/Hr
Small Business rate for > 10 hours $85/Hr
Not for profit, Associations & Clubs and registered charities are usually charged at the Small Business rate.
- Setting up a Linux Virtual Private Server with Digital Ocean or Vultr.
- Setting up free SSL certificates from https://letsencrypt.org/ , including auto renewal so they never expire.
- Setting up a backup service for your server or any other machines. This can be cloud based or stored only on your private server. It is fully encrypted. It can be fully de-duplicated at a block level so that 100GB will only require 1-10GB of space. It can be in the form of incremental backups or a drive image.
- Setting up a secure Linux based email server, with IMAP and a SSL protected web based mobile friendly interface.
- Setting up a secure file server that can be accessed by Windows, Mac or Linux clients.
- Setting up a database server, optimised for speed, and backed up. Redundant cluster servers are also possible.
- Setting up a Domain Name Server, adding or changing DNS records.
- Checking your existing servers or network for security.
- Performance testing your servers and software and optimising for speed.
- Showing you how you can save thousands of dollars by moving from expensive software to open source solutions.
- Showing you how you can save thousands of dollars by moving from proprietary software to a custom written solution.
- Securing WordPress or Joomla Servers. Writing PHP modules for WordPress.
- Modifying any PHP based software.
- Setting up a powerful and secure PHP based bulletin board and integrating it with your existing user database.
- Writing custom bar-code reading and writing software. Creating custom RFID equipment and software.
- Creating long range wireless links for telemetry or data networks.
- Building custom software controlled brush-less motor controllers.